All Saints Day is a national holiday for Poles

cemetery lodzNovember 1, All Saints Day (Wszystkich Świętych), is celebrated throughout Poland as a way to honor those relatives who have died. It remains an important holiday in Poland, surpassing Christmas as THE time to get together as a family. All Souls Day (Dzien Zaduszny or Zaduszki), November 2, is the busiest travel day of the year in Poland as family members head home. The evening between the two days is a traditional time to bring all family members together, attend church and remember past family members.

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Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko

Thirty years ago today (October 19) the communist secret police murdered Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko. jerzy popiuluszkoThe priest stood sympathetic to Solidarity, in direct opposition against communism. The relationship between the Polish People’s Republic and the Catholic church was tenuous at best. Poland is primarily a Catholic country, especially following the demise and exodus of millions of Polish Jews during and after World War II. Continue reading

Hiking Arizona Offers a Metaphor for Survival

I had thkatrina hike2e chance to go hiking south of Flagstaff this weekend. If you don’t live in Phoenix year round, it’s hard to appreciate getting tired of constant sun and heat. While some climates get snowed in, we get ‘baked’ in. It was pure delight to drive with open car windows, pull a couple sweaters out of the back of the closet and truly see the Milky Way at night. Continue reading